All animal species are different from each other when it comes to body structure. Our planet is filled with animals both big and small. Animals with long legs are considered to be more efficient when compared to ones with shorter legs. The longer the legs of an animal, the lesser is the energy required by them to perform a task.
Here are a few animals with long legs that you probably didn’t know about –
Giraffe has the longest legs in the animal kingdom. Their legs can grow up to 72 inches long, making them the tallest mammals in the world. Their long legs help them to cover more distance in a very short duration of time.
Giraffes are native to Africa and roam around in small groups of 5 or 6 individuals. They even have one of the longest tongues in the animal kingdom. Their 21-inch tongue helps them plush leaves from branches.
Giraffes use their long legs to run as fast as 32 miles per hour for shorter distances and 10 miles per hour over long distances. They spend a major portion of their life standing. They even stand when they are asleep or are giving birth.
Giraffes long legs enable them to move long distances with relatively less effort. They can take long and smooth rides, covering a lot of ground with each step they take.
The population of giraffes have seen a huge decline in the past decade. The IUCN has declared giraffes as a vulnerable species, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
2. African Elephants
African elephants are animals with long legs and a bulky body. They are the largest land animal on the earth, with legs measuring up to 120 inches in length.
African elephants are native to the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. They have huge, straight, pillar-like legs which support their massive body structure and weight.
The back legs of the African elephant are slightly longer than its front legs, with knee-caps supporting the whole structure of the animal.
African elephants have flat feet with large pads on their heels. These act as shock absorber and helps them walk quietly. Their feet can pick up noises and low-frequency rumbles, caused by animals as far as 20 miles.
Elephants spend most of their time walking, and their long legs and feet are adapted to such a lifestyle. They have the longest eyelashes in the kingdom, which protects their eyes from dust and sand.
African elephants are called the ‘ecosystem engineers’, and they shape the habitat around them in many different ways. Unfortunately, the population of these elephants are declining at an alarming rate.
The IUCN lists African elephants as an endangered species, and they can soon enter the critically endangered criteria as well. There are only 400,000 individuals left in the world.
3. Alaskan moose
Alaskan moose are the largest deer species and can be recognised easily with their huge antlers. They have long legs that can measure up to 82 inches long.
Alaskan moose is native to Alaska and northwestern Canada. They have long, strong, and muscular legs that assist them in running faster. They can run up to 35 miles an hour.
These species of deers, use their powerful legs to run away from predators. The long legs help them walk through the snow and swim in deep water.
Alaskan moose have huge antlers, which they use to defend themselves from their predators or to assert dominance over other moose.
These antlers also boost the hearing capability of Alaskan moose by more than 19%. Their hearing is 60 times more powerful than humans.
Alaskan moose have large hooves on their legs, that support these huge animals in soft snow or mushy ground. These hooves are also known as snowshoes.
4. Shire horse
Shire horse is the largest species of horse in the world. These animals have long legs, which can measure up to 62 inches in length. They are a rare species of horse and have fur all over their legs.
Shire horses are native to the rural shires of England and are the tallest species of horse in the world. They have strong, powerful, and muscular legs that can pull a load weighing more than 45 tonnes.
The strong and long legs of shire horses can kick with a force of about 2000 pounds per square inch.
These tall horses have large hooves, allowing them to walk for longer distances without damaging their feet. Shire horses have thick legs, which bear their weight, absorbs the impact from the ground, and also provides thrust for running faster. They can run up to 27 miles per hour.
Shire horses are gentle, calm, and docile creatures. They have an easy-going nature and were used by the British soldiers to carry armour during battles and wars.
Shire horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal on the planet. Their eyes are placed on the side of their heads, giving them a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
Shire horses are a critically endangered species of horse, with less than 3,000 individuals left all over the world.
5. Arabian camel
Arabian camel is a one-humped camel, that can travel 100 miles without a sip of water. These animals have long legs that can measure up to 60 inches long.
Arabian camels are the tallest of the camel species and are native to the African desert. These animals with long legs can run at a speed of 25 miles per hour.
Arabian camels have strong and powerful legs, which allow them to carry almost 1000 pounds. With this weight, they can walk up to 100 miles a day, at a speed of 12 miles per hour.
These desert species are one of the tallest terrestrial animals, along with long, beautiful eyelashes. They have three pairs of eyelashes, that protect their eyes from the sand and dust of the desert.
Arabian camels have padded feet, which are wide enough to stop them from slipping in the sand and protect them from heat. Their legs have very little muscle and are long enough to keep their body away from the blistering hot desert sand.
Arabian camels have a single hump, which can store up to 80 pounds of fat. They break down this fat into energy, during harsh climates. Most of these camels are domesticated by humans.
6. American Bison
American bison are the largest mammals in North America. Their legs can measure up to 60 inches in length. They usually live in small, separate herds.
American bison is native to North America and is one of the heaviest land animals. Their strong and long legs help them to cover more distance in less duration of time. They run at a speed of 40 miles per hour.
These massive creatures are surprisingly very active, combat their predators easily, and jump up to 6 feet vertically. American bison has sharp and curved horns that can grow as long as 2 feet. Researchers use their horns to determine the age of the bison.
American bisons have a bump on their back, that allows them to plough through snow with the help of their head. They are herbivorous species and feed on grass, twigs, shrubs, and herbs.
7. White Rhinoceros
White rhinoceros are two-horned species, with a squared upper lip. These massive creatures have legs that can measure as long as 54 inches.
White rhinos are the largest species of rhinoceros and the second largest mammal on land. These animals with long legs and enormous bodies are native to the grassy lands of Africa.
They are herbivorous animals, which use their long legs and squared lips to pluck leaves and fruits from branches. They also graze on grasses, with their heads down while walking.
White rhinoceros have three toes on both their front and hind feet. Their feet are equipped with hooves, which completely cover their toes. These hooves protect their feet from damage.
White rhinos, despite their massive weight, are fast runners. In fact, they are the fastest mammals weighing over 2200 pounds. Their long legs help them run at a speed of more than 30 miles per hour.
Rhinos can easily outrun their predators, and make tight turns while running. There are two species of white rhinos – the Southern White Rhino and the Northern White Rhino
White rhinoceros are listed as a near-threatened species by the IUCN, with their population decreasing continuously every year. There are only 10,000 individuals left in the wild.
The Northern White Rhinos have become functionally extinct, with the death of the last male rhino in 2018.
Hippopotamuses are also known as ‘water horses’, spend at least 16 hours every day, submerged in water. These bulky animals have long legs that can measure up to 54 inches in length.
Hippos are native to the Sub- Saharan region of Africa and can be found all over the continent. They are one of the most dangerous animals on the planet.
The hippopotamus has the widest mouth among all the land animals. These herbivore mammals have large teeth and tusks that they use for fighting off predators and hunters.
Hippopotamuses are more active during the night and can travel 6 miles to consume food. They usually graze grass and can eat up to 80 pounds of their favourite grass.
Hippopotamuses have long, stocky legs that are strong and fast enough, to outrun humans or predators. They can run up to 19 miles per hour over short distances.
Hippos have four toes on the front as well as the hind legs. Eat of their toes are partially covered by hooves. This protects their feet from the occasional wear and tear.
Hippopotamuses are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN. There are only 148,000 individuals left in the wild.
9. Cape Buffalo
Cape buffaloes are one of Africa’s largest herbivore animals. They have long legs, which can measure up to 42 inches long. These strong and bulky creatures can weigh as much as 2000 pounds.
Cape buffaloes are native to the Sub-Saharan region of Africa and can be found roaming in the grass plain of South Africa. They spend most of their time grazing grass or eating herbs, shrubs, or leaves.
They have strong, muscular legs, and a stocky body, making them one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They are also referred to as ‘black death’, due to their unpredictable nature.
Despite their massive weight, Cape buffaloes can run really fast. These animals with long legs can run up to 35 miles per hour, and easily outrun hunters or predators.
Cape buffaloes have huge horns that can grow up to 84 inches. They use these horns to fight predators like lions and to assert their dominance in the herd. The horns help researchers identify different species of African buffaloes.
The Cape buffaloes are listed as a near-threatened species by the IUCN, with their population decreasing every year. There are just 400,000 individuals left in the wild.
Ostrich is the world’s largest bird, with the longest legs among all bird species. Their legs can grow up to 24 inches long, representing 22% of their total body length.
Ostriches are native to African savannas and desert lands. They are the fastest running birds in the world and can sprint up to 43 miles per hour. They use their long legs and wings to change the direction quickly while running.
These flightless birds have powerful, featherless, and muscular legs. They can cover at least 14 feet in a single stride. Ostriches also use their legs to protect themselves from predators or humans.
An ostrich can kick with a force of 2000 pounds per square inch, which is powerful enough to kill a lion or even a human. They also have surprisingly long, sharp claw at the end of their foot.
Ostriches can withstand high temperatures and can survive without water for days. They usually get most of their water from the plants they eat.
These large birds are mostly herbivorous, and eat plants, roots, leaves, or seeds. But ostriches have been seen eating insects and lizards as well to travel when they are left in harsh climates.
We saw a large number of species with an amazing height residing in this animal kingdom. Most of them are powerful and strong having a large weight, while the others are lean. Some of them, on the other hand, can run at greater speeds.
Each species is built with a different body structure which proves to be its major strength and way of living.